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joetbn
12-11-2012, 02:21 PM
I have directly compared the Preciso to a Mazzer SJ on a Marzocco machine in a very good small cafe with 3 pro baristas, same beans, same machine. Our conclusion was that the SJ grinds were indeed a tiny bit fluffier and definitely better distributed but with careful technique and a bit more time spent on distribution (5-6 seconds tops) the shot quality was nearly identical. There was as much variation shot to shot with either grinder as between the two. In a commercial environment those 5-6 seconds per shot are critical, but not at home. Grind speed was also about a second or two longer per shot on the Preciso. The new gearbox on the preciso slows the burs down to the point where there is no heat problem. For press pot grinding the Mazzer simply didn't even come close, way more fines than the preciso and noticeably more sludge in the cup. There is a different commercial grinder in the shop that they use for pour overs and press pots, I can't remember the name of it but it was great at the coarse grinds and couldn't do espresso at all. My point is that high end commercial grinders were designed with a different set of criteria, and no barista would even think about using a preciso all day in a cafe, but for making a couple shots a day at home the preciso is 99% as good, a third the price, and a third or less the size, and better suited to different grinds.

That being said, preference in gear of any kind and what is "the best" is ultimately up to the individual users experience, and there are probably other grinders in the $1,000 and up price range that are better suited for home use than the Mazzer SJ I used. I have never had the opportunity to try Versalab, Malk K30, or the Elecktra Nino. I will therefore retract my "best at any price" comment and say probably the best under $1,500.

At the lower price end, I had a Mr. Coffee branded bur grinder that was I think $60.00 and still have a Capressio Infinity that is $100 (I leave that one for my roomate that likes dark oily beans that I won't let near my grinder) And while they are both way better than a blade grinder neither will do espresso at all, both leave a ton of fines at press pot, but both are ok at drip. I can definitely taste a difference in a pour over though, the preciso gives a much sweeter cup.

Duckfat
12-11-2012, 05:32 PM
IMHO the Baratza Virtuoso Preciso is the best grinder for home use at any price. The only thing that more expensive commercial grinders do better is high volume, and they are actually much worse at low volume home use. The preciso leaves only about 0.2 grams of coffee in its chute after grinding, other home grinders, even the more expensive Vario by the same company leave over a gram, and commercial grinders like Mazzer leave up to 7 or 8 grams. That means when you grind for a cup you either have to first grind and throw away a few grams of coffee or have a significant percentage of stale grounds in your brew. It is also extremely versatile, I have never seen another grinder that is exceptional at espresso, and can also do a coarse grind for french press with almost no fines. The vario grinds very well for espresso too, but is no where near as good on the coarse end or even in the middle for drip or pour over. For me, espresso aside, the ultimate home coffee setup is a Preciso and a Hario V60 dripper. People think I'm nuts for telling them to buy a $300 grinder and a $15 coffee maker, but the results are infinitely better than using a $15 grinder and a $300 coffee maker. As far as home roasting goes, it seems like a fascinating and rewarding hobby, but I would rather buy beans from a great local roaster that has spent his whole life perfecting the art of roasting, and travels around the world hand picking beans from individual farmers. I will never be able to produce roasts of that quality at home, not even close. Oh, I do not work for a coffee equipment maker or store, this is all based on personal experience and years of research and tasting.



+1. I've had a lot of grinders and after using the Preciso for several months it is freakin awesome. Even more so when you consider the price point. Here's a link to a very detailed review that may be of interest. Did some one mention Breville??? I can't post what I really think of those but I will say I killed three of them in a year. I'll leave a link to a review I did on that for another forum.

Dave


http://coffeegeek.com/proreviews/quickshot/baratzavirtuosopreciso/details

http://www.cheftalk.com/products/breville-bcg800xl-smart-grinder/reviews/4072

WildBoar
12-11-2012, 06:27 PM
joetbn, you are right -- Mazzers are great for espresso, but really not the best for pour-over, drip, etc. I'm thinking about a grinder for coffee at some point, but will never, ever give up the Mazzer. But my pro-Mazzer comments belong in the Espresso thread, and not the Coffee thread :O

joetbn
12-12-2012, 03:29 AM
WildBoar, your pro Mazzer comments are welcome here, to me espresso IS coffee, elevated to it's highest potential.

chokobo
12-12-2012, 11:35 AM
Fwiw there are places like Coava Coffee brewing filter coffee exclusively through a Mazzer Kony by choice. I use mine for both espresso and filter, and it works quite well. Maybe not well enough to stop me getting a dedicated Ditting, Bunn, Tanzania or über grinder more so for the laziness factor of not having to change my espresso grind settings.

What's tasting good for you guys at the moment? I'm loving the Panama Geisha Mario Carnival at the moment. Absolutely stunning coffee!

jmforge
12-12-2012, 09:36 PM
Waiting for the "i don't drink burnt coffee" insults to start. :lol2:
WildBoar, your pro Mazzer comments are welcome here, to me espresso IS coffee, elevated to it's highest potential.

AFKitchenknivesguy
12-13-2012, 12:47 AM
Waiting for the "i don't drink burnt coffee" insults to start. :lol2:

No one said Starbucks did they? :groucho:

AFKitchenknivesguy
12-24-2012, 05:39 PM
So got 5 lbs of Red Bird in the other day, let it rest for two days and froze the rest. In the cup:

http://i559.photobucket.com/albums/ss35/jherm77/brisket007.jpg

Steamed up some whole milk for a cap. I really pay attention to my microfoam, 75%+ shops don't know how to steam milk, this cup was 1/5 full and now it's a 3/5 full:

http://i559.photobucket.com/albums/ss35/jherm77/brisket009.jpg

http://i559.photobucket.com/albums/ss35/jherm77/brisket011.jpg

Of course, after all that I was multitasking and didn't even attempt latte art:

http://i559.photobucket.com/albums/ss35/jherm77/brisket012.jpg

Still tasted good :)

wenus2
12-24-2012, 06:43 PM
I really pay attention to my microfoam, 75%+ shops don't know how to steam milk

Thats an optimistic figure if I ever saw one. :p

Looks good J, thanks for the pics.
Almost enough inspiration to get me to tear into my poor broken Oscar and replace the SSR.
Merry Xmas.

AFKitchenknivesguy
12-24-2012, 06:51 PM
Very optimistic, but it's Christmas eve so what the heck!

rahimlee54
12-25-2012, 07:02 PM
Very optimistic, but it's Christmas eve so what the heck!

Do you have any tips on steaming the milk, I usually don't stretch mine that much but seeing your post I figured I would try. The milk turned out nice and creamy but I didn't have enough on top for any sort of art so I thought my technique was a bit off. I obviously need a little more practice, just want to make sure I practice correctly. I think tonight's caps had an some of the best mouth feel though and that is important.

Thanks
Jared

AFKitchenknivesguy
12-25-2012, 09:01 PM
First find a good milk. Some milk is treated with (can't remember the term) and doesn't foam well. Not all milks microfoam the same and the fresher the better. You probably already know, but the higher the fat the easier to microfoam. Other than that make sure the milk is very cold, even put the container in the freezer until you get good. I usually stretch from 70F-80F, then dunk the tip deep in the milk at an angle. I also tilt the container so I get a good whirlpool going. I usually finish off at 140F-150 depending on how old the milk is. Swirl in cup while base is on counter. If you get a "marshmellow" top, you stretched the milk too much and consider dunking earlier in the temp.

It's a learned skill, and one that needs to be practiced. If I hadn't made microfoam in a month or so, I sometimes make mistakes.

miketayl0r
12-26-2012, 12:39 AM
Just got a Keurig for Christmas. :-)

Perfect for a cook constantly on the go

rahimlee54
12-26-2012, 10:41 PM
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-PAot-3PuVm4/UNu0ehoMDdI/AAAAAAAACPE/yQHeK3F3r7o/s1068/IMG_20121226_213646.jpg

Right before I finished it off, a good way to end a day at work.

AFKitchenknivesguy
01-29-2013, 11:17 PM
Looking forward to this coming in. All is green, I will roast.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Clifton Mount - 2lbs
Arianna Farms Ono Kona - Kona Festival Winner - 2lbs
Panama Carmen Estate - 5lbs
Panama Esmeralda Boquete Geisha -1lb

Only about $135 for total 10lbs. I LOVE Carmen Estate. Looking forward to see how it stands up to the others. It's been a few years since I had some Kona, looking forward to it. Of course the crown jewel is the Esmeralda, albeit it's not the auction version.

Lars
01-30-2013, 02:35 AM
The first time I tasted Esmaralda it really did my head in.
It was in a cupping session and I almost thought it was a cup of tea when I smelled it :biggrin:

Have fun roasting..

Lars

Duckfat
02-01-2013, 03:44 PM
Let us know how the Kona turns out Jason. It sounds like you should be all set for at least a few weeks.

AFKitchenknivesguy
02-02-2013, 01:53 AM
Thanks, should be in tomorrow. I plan on roasting some Kona first. I've always had a love affair...

mano
02-02-2013, 08:58 AM
How much time does it take and how big a pita is roasting your own? What's the best home roaster?

WildBoar
02-02-2013, 10:24 AM
How much time does it take and how big a pita is roasting your own? What's the best home roaster?Your avatar is perfect, 'cause you are about to get drawn down into the rabbit hole :biggrin:

AFKitchenknivesguy
02-02-2013, 05:06 PM
Best roaster is an open ended question. Best roaster for a newbie is a Behmor. Lots of ways to roast, just depends on how deep your pockets go and how much effort you want to put in.

HHH Knives
02-03-2013, 03:01 AM
Hi guys and Gals. Im getting ready to roast my first beans!! I placed a order for a few pounds and am excited about trying this. Yet after reading some of this thread. I have a feeling its gona become yet another addiction, that costs much money and trial and error to get to where I can get constant results and a GREAT coffee! Yet the rewards will be great, and the coffee even better! So Im ready! :cool2:

If I may ask you guys a few questions along the way. I would appreciate any pointers and help ya might give! :thumbsup:

Heres the plan so far. Get beans... CHECK. I have Guatemala beans, Ethiopia, Colombia, and a French Roast Blend. Heading this way, expected first part of the week.

Use a air popper (popcorn) :laughat: to roast the first few batches. also plan to par roast a batch, as well as might try and Bake some?

Finaly after cooling them and letting them rest. Grind and Enjoy. ( I have a one button grinder at the moment ) That is soon to be replaced im sure! :wink:

I think the first or next step would be to purchase a entry level roaster. And more coffee. :D

Im reading reviews, and searching the net and found many choices and options good and bad reviews on the same roasters. and was pointed right back to my popcorn maker. lol
Have you tried or used your air popper to roast beans? if so, how did it do? What roasters would be recommended under 200.00 that actually works well and would make dark roast?

HHH Knives
02-04-2013, 01:04 PM
Well the beans arrived this morning and I roasted 2 batched, Here are some images.

Any advise as to how long I have to let them rest B4 grinding and brewing would be appreciated.

AFKitchenknivesguy
02-04-2013, 01:58 PM
Looks like a good roast. You will find air popper roasting and drum roasting will create a slightly different taste (if you decide to get a drum roaster). Resting is a bit subjective, and the usual recommendation can depend on the bean...Sweet Marias and Roastmasters will many times give you recommendations. I'd say at least 24 hours. A fun thing to do is to try it at every time interval i.e. right after roasting, 24 hours, 48 hours, etc. You can really learn about the beans and their maturity/flavor potential. Just remember that the CO2 release will be much higher the closer to the roast, so a lot of blooming will happen (grinds will "bloom" when you put hot water over them). Usually a well rested bean will have minimal blooming, but just enough to prove it is still fresh. Some roasts, particurally espresso roasts, recommend resting for 5-7 days to get the right flavor profile out of them.

I think you will find roasting beans a science, much like baking is a science. People can get real techy with gadgets and DIY set-ups in order to be able to repeat roasts. Seems like you have the ability to do well with it, keep it up!

HHH Knives
02-14-2013, 10:54 PM
So far its been alot of fun, after roasting a couple pounds with the air popper. I was HOOKED and went ahead and picked up a Drum Roaster and a Burr grinder! :) Looking at a new brewer at the moment!

Having a blast!
Randy

apicius9
02-14-2013, 11:41 PM
Very cool, when I grow up I want one of those...

Stefan

Dieter01
02-18-2013, 06:41 PM
Great to see other people roasting in here as well :-)

Randy, did you like the result? Looks like quite a dark roast by the oily sheen.

Eric
02-18-2013, 07:37 PM
Randy: Looks great! I have been roasting for about a year with my hottop, another drum roaster. I too love it. I imaging you have found sweet marias, but if not check out their website. If you are looking for an esspreso machine, check out wholelattelove.com. How do you like your Behmor? Anyway good luck and enjoy. ERIC

HHH Knives
02-18-2013, 07:50 PM
Dieter, Im having a blast trying new beans from around the globe!

The coffee was a little over roasted.. OK maybe alot for most peoples tastes. But I mixed it with another batch that was a bit under roasted in my opinion. and come up with a great combination that really has a deep rich taste. :)

Main thing is, Im enjoying my coffee more then ever. The new roaster is doing a great job. and Im having great success at doing 1lb at a time, which I read was not something this machine did well. I added a photo of the last 1 lb batch I roasted.

Eric. I have found Sweet Maria's and thats where I ordered my first beans from. I got the Bemore at Roastmasters.com They had free shipping!! and sent along a 10.00 coupon of my next order and 8 pounds of beans. :)

Now Im hooked. lol. I think the next purchase will be a better coffee maker. Im open to suggestions. Was hoping to stay under 150.00 for it. But after looking at the fancy ones on the coffee sites. I see thats gona be hard to do.

God Bless.

Duckfat
02-18-2013, 08:11 PM
Just grab a French Press Randy. It doesn't have to be expensive. :cool2:

HHH Knives
02-18-2013, 08:45 PM
Dave, I seen them and was actually planning on getting the Aeropress. (I think its called) single cup press that also doubles to make espresso. Yet would love one that makes 10 cups of coffee. Ill have a look tonight and see what I find. Thanks

AFKitchenknivesguy
02-19-2013, 01:19 AM
Like Dave said a French press.

SameGuy
02-19-2013, 12:28 PM
I know some of you have way more elaborate setups and top-shelf grinders and machines (oh, how I yearn for an Andreja Premium), but does anyone have experience with Hi-Tech Espresso (http://www.hitechespresso.com/) in LA?

I've long wanted to PID my Silvia and was ready to send my cash to Auber Instruments, but I wonder if Hi-Tech's rants about (against) Auber hold water. Hi-Tech won't sell the PID kit, I'd have to ship them my Silvia and let them do the mod. Even so, that ~$300 investment should help my $600 toy play more like a $1500 vibe machine until I can justify the big upgrades (I'll need a top-shelf grinder before I even consider something superior to the Silvia).

Any thoughts?

Dieter01
02-19-2013, 03:45 PM
Randy, If you like a more clean cup you should also consider a Hario V60 (or similar). Great coffee!

Eric
02-21-2013, 12:15 AM
13480Just roasted some Kenya! Hottop. Took it to FC. 13478

HHH Knives
05-31-2013, 07:23 PM
The Kenya looks good Eric. I had a few pound of it and its now gone :( I roast mine a bit darker.

OK. I have a question. Im ready to invest in a coffee pot. Yep its time. Suggestions welcomed.

a few things I would like. Carafe pot. low profile.
a few things I dont need . Brew timers. digital settings.


Please give me some input.
Randy

Duckfat
05-31-2013, 07:48 PM
Randy did you find any Morels this spring? I never did get out to look like I had hoped. :(
For Coffee I think you were right on track with either an Aeropress, FP or Hario. Heck you can buy all three for a fraction of what many electronic coffee contraptions cost and they will all work better. If you want a carafe just but a separate carafe or make fresh coffee.

Dave

HHH Knives
05-31-2013, 07:55 PM
We did get out and found a good batch of Shrooms. And as always . Enjoyed every bite! Im gona try and take a walk this weekend to a location I have found the Large white morels. heres a picture of the first finds of the season.

Im all about doing what you suggested. But my other half wants to be able to brew a pot of coffee. So Im looking for a pore over style pot at the moment. Has anyone tried Cuasanart? I found a nice looking set up with a grind and brew feature. Where the grinder is built into the pot.

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-01-2013, 11:55 AM
Randy,

Don't buy the Cuisinart. The grind and brew sounds convenient, but what do you do when it breaks? I had one before I became knowledgable about coffee and it sucked. This is why I don't like multi-taskers in electronics, too many things can go wrong and affect the whole thing. Plus the grinder sucks and the water doesn't get hot enough to extract properly. I have a Technivorm brewer I rarely use, but if I were to buy again I would get this:

http://www.amazon.com/Bonavita-BV1800TH-Coffee-Thermal-Carafe/dp/B005YQZNO8/ref=sr_1_1_ha?ie=UTF8&qid=1370101948&sr=8-1&keywords=bonavita+coffee+maker

mpukas
06-01-2013, 12:03 PM
Randy,

Don't buy the Cuisinart. The grind and brew sounds convenient, but what do you do when it breaks? I had one before I became knowledgable about coffee and it sucked. This is why I don't like multi-taskers in electronics, too many things can go wrong and affect the whole thing. Plus the grinder sucks and the water doesn't get hot enough to extract properly. I have a Technivorm brewer I rarely use, but if I were to buy again I would get this:

http://www.amazon.com/Bonavita-BV1800TH-Coffee-Thermal-Carafe/dp/B005YQZNO8/ref=sr_1_1_ha?ie=UTF8&qid=1370101948&sr=8-1&keywords=bonavita+coffee+maker

Why would you get this Bonavita over the Techivorm?

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-02-2013, 07:10 PM
Why would you get this Bonavita over the Techivorm?

Easy, half the price and SCAA certified. The only reason I got the Technivorm (at the time) is because it was one of the few home machines that was SCAA certified and could count on it to extract the coffee at the right temp.

jalanpipes
06-03-2013, 12:16 AM
Hey guys,

I'm new to the forum, and was delighted to just discover this gem of a thread. One of my other hobbies/passions is coffee. I've been roasting for 11 years and have gone through a ton of machines and grinders in that time. We just remodeled our kitchen a few years ago and designed it around our Elektra T1 espresso machine. I'm currently using that machine with a Mazzer mini, use an Aeropress with a Zassenhaus grinder when I'm traveling, and roast with a Behmor. Here's a shot I posted to instagram of some latte art in my morning cup.

http://i610.photobucket.com/albums/tt184/jgracik/ScreenShot2013-06-02at91332PM_zps04fea0f0.png

Glad to be here and I look forward to the discussion.

Jeff

jalanpipes
06-03-2013, 12:22 AM
AFKitchenKnivesGuy: I'm curious about the Bonavita. I've not used it before, and don't read much on drip coffees since I drink mostly espresso, so wasn't aware of it. How's it stack up against the Technivorm? Is it a simple matter of the water being precisely set at the optimum temperature or is it customizable like the Behmor Brazen? I've not used the Brazen before either, but saw an early product demo at our local roasting club. The owner/inventor, Joe, is part of the group and showed it to us all before taking it to SCAA for its debut. But, I had to leave before tasting anything from it. I've contemplated getting a new drip machine for variety and the Brazen was going to be the top choice, but if the Bonavita is recommended it may be worth consideration.

Thanks.

Jeff

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-03-2013, 03:02 AM
AFKitchenKnivesGuy: I'm curious about the Bonavita. I've not used it before, and don't read much on drip coffees since I drink mostly espresso, so wasn't aware of it. How's it stack up against the Technivorm? Is it a simple matter of the water being precisely set at the optimum temperature or is it customizable like the Behmor Brazen? I've not used the Brazen before either, but saw an early product demo at our local roasting club. The owner/inventor, Joe, is part of the group and showed it to us all before taking it to SCAA for its debut. But, I had to leave before tasting anything from it. I've contemplated getting a new drip machine for variety and the Brazen was going to be the top choice, but if the Bonavita is recommended it may be worth consideration.

Thanks.

Jeff

Just to be clear, i've never used it. When I am not drinking espresso based drinks, I am usually a french press guy. I don't see much difference with it compare to the Technivorm other than one being hand built versus machine built. The Brazen is another good choice (I have a Behmor myself and it's good quality for price). We are starting to see a lot of great options for home brewers as technology in the industry becomes normalized, and the prices in turn are coming down. When I bought the Technivorm many years ago, there wasn't many options for a properly brewed drip machine. Considering the price, either the Brazen or Bonavita seem a good choice.

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-03-2013, 03:02 AM
Hey guys,

I'm new to the forum, and was delighted to just discover this gem of a thread. One of my other hobbies/passions is coffee. I've been roasting for 11 years and have gone through a ton of machines and grinders in that time. We just remodeled our kitchen a few years ago and designed it around our Elektra T1 espresso machine. I'm currently using that machine with a Mazzer mini, use an Aeropress with a Zassenhaus grinder when I'm traveling, and roast with a Behmor. Here's a shot I posted to instagram of some latte art in my morning cup.

http://i610.photobucket.com/albums/tt184/jgracik/ScreenShot2013-06-02at91332PM_zps04fea0f0.png

Glad to be here and I look forward to the discussion.

Jeff

Nice latte art!

JPizzzle
06-03-2013, 09:54 AM
Cool thread. I've been dying to get a rocket espresso cellini, but the price is a bit above my budget and there are no deals on these guys :(

HHH Knives
06-03-2013, 02:21 PM
Thanks guys for the input. I am going to buy the Bonavita.. Ill let ya all know what think of it once It arrives and I have had a chance to brew some coffee through it.

I also secured a Bunn which will be for summer camping trips and a backup. Just in case.

Blessings
Randy

vinster
06-03-2013, 02:36 PM
For you guys who like latte art, here's a link to the best howto videos I've found on the topic:

http://www.howcast.com/guides/1067-How-to-Do-Latte-Art

Unfortunately, the series doesn't really address my biggest weakness, which is the ability to regularly create microfoam. I was doing well on my old espresso machine (La Spaz vivaldi), but with the newer beefier setup, I always get air bubbles.

Basecadet
06-03-2013, 07:05 PM
Great thread, hadn't noticed it before.

Vinster, thanks for that link, excellent videos. I had a lot of trouble getting good microfoam on my Pasquini Livia 90 when I first got it, one thing that helped was changing out the stock nozzle. The original nozzle had four larger holes which made controlling the steam flow difficult and resulted in lots of bubbles, the new one I picked up had 2 much smaller holes and that gave me much more control on the flow and my mircofoam improved greatly.

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-04-2013, 12:43 AM
Let me know your thoughts on it Randy.

Flawless Victory
06-04-2013, 01:52 PM
Just picked this up off Craigslist for $45 I think it will be a nice upgrade from my Mr. Coffee model.

http://m.flickr.com/lightbox?id=8949991875

http://m.flickr.com/lightbox?id=8951194238

Flawless Victory
06-04-2013, 02:27 PM
Well I guess I cant Figure out how to imbed from Flickr Links Below.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/73698817@N06/8951194238/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/73698817@N06/8949991875/in/photostream/

SpikeC
06-04-2013, 02:54 PM
Score!

Duckfat
06-04-2013, 02:58 PM
Just picked this up off Craigslist for $45 I think it will be a nice upgrade from my Mr. Coffee model.


Now there's the under statement of the year. As long as it's working well that was a smoking good deal!

Dave

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-04-2013, 03:40 PM
I think your screen name indicates my feeling.

jalanpipes
06-04-2013, 04:41 PM
That'll do, for sure!

Flawless Victory
06-05-2013, 02:22 AM
Ya I might have hit a little gold mine. While getting info about the Grinder as her Ad had no pictures I discovered that she misspelled Esspreso and did not know if the grinder was a doser or not. So she seemed to be a novice in this area at best. When asked why she was selling it her father is aparently a coffe fanatic and just hands down his stuff when he gets new ones. Not Sure what he has now but this http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/baratza-vario-burr-grinder-with-upgraded-h2-display she had on her counter in her Kitchen. So I requested that she rember my number next time she gets a hand me down so I can be third in line. :groucho:

Duckfat
06-05-2013, 07:09 AM
The Baratza grinders are very nice. I haven't looked back since I bought the Preciso.

Dave

vinster
06-06-2013, 08:48 PM
I had that Baratza Vario for a year but found it to be inconsistent from shot to shot. It worked OK if you kept the hopper full of beans but when you wanted to dose one shot at a time, my shots were all over the place. The last straw was when I started having static clumping issues. I tried to clean everything but no luck resolving the static. I then bought a used Super Jolly off CL for about $125 bucks and the difference was like night and day. Shot times stayed consistent and I was happy. But... It wasn't long before I got "curious" about a a grinder with larger burrs, so I got a Mazzer Major. To be honest, I cant tell much of a difference between the SJ and the Major.... So if you're serious about espresso, I highly recommend a SJ.

rahimlee54
06-07-2013, 09:11 PM
Maybe I can score a baratza to play around with some drip or pour over coffee. I have never really drank many types of coffee, just went straight to espresso. Only one grinder as well. Nice score there.

Duckfat
06-08-2013, 08:08 AM
If you are a dedicated espresso drinker probably any of the multi-grinders are going to disappoint compared to the Mazzer, Rocky etc. However if you want a machine that can jump from FP to pour over and still get good results for some espresso machines then the Baratza Preciso is a very good option. What you get out of the Vario depends on the burr set you use. I thought about going that route but I there was a very detailed article on line that concluded the precisco actually is more consistent and costs a lot less.

Dave

compaddict
06-08-2013, 12:52 PM
I tried the Vario-W and found that it would never go back to the same settings.. Vario indeed.
I ended up with a big Kitchenaid and kitted it to work with high end burrs.
Much better! When I turn the knob.. Things change!

HHH Knives
06-25-2013, 11:02 PM
Let me know your thoughts on it Randy.

I received the Bonavita last week and wanted to give it a few days of use testing and tasting.. Before I reported on it..

Overall. I am IMPRESSED! I have recently had some of the worst luck with coffee pots. in the last 6 months I have went through 4 pots. this makes number 5. I wish I would of started with this pot when I first started roasting beans. :)

My new Bonavita BV1800 makes a great cup of coffee, and by far the best cup I have experienced at home. My wife also has stated more then once this week about the coffee being the best she has ever had. ;)

Thanks so much for the recommendation.
Randy

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-27-2013, 02:40 PM
I received the Bonavita last week and wanted to give it a few days of use testing and tasting.. Before I reported on it..

Overall. I am IMPRESSED! I have recently had some of the worst luck with coffee pots. in the last 6 months I have went through 4 pots. this makes number 5. I wish I would of started with this pot when I first started roasting beans. :)

My new Bonavita BV1800 makes a great cup of coffee, and by far the best cup I have experienced at home. My wife also has stated more then once this week about the coffee being the best she has ever had. ;)

Thanks so much for the recommendation.
Randy

Now don't be stirring up my AD! My current list of coffee toys will likely last me forever but that is definately the one to get right now. I wish more people would learn the buy once, cry once mantra!

HHH Knives
07-01-2013, 09:25 PM
Im just really pleased with this coffee pot and wish I would of spent the cash to begin with rather then wasting all them fresh roasted beans on inferior brewers!

Live and learn. :)

Blessings
Randy

SameGuy
08-28-2013, 10:51 AM
Finally getting around to replacing my crappy Krups grinder with a real espresso grinder after having found a decent deal for a Vario on eBay.

Vario users: what should my initial settings for espresso be before I start dialling in? I have just received a fresh 5 lb. bag of Red Bird (roasted Friday), and will be pulling with an unmodded Silvia through a VST basket. I plan to PID Miss Silvia soon.

tripleq
08-28-2013, 01:25 PM
I have a Silvia and an older Mokita machine (which is running strong after 12 years). I grind my coffee with a Rocky grinder. Despite the great coffee these machines make I find myself turning to my Nespresso machine a lot just for the convenience factor.

DerSnap
08-29-2013, 10:25 AM
ECM Espresso Machine myself with Mazzer Mini Mod B grinder 64mm Burrs.
Did a quick test shot video yesterday of it and usually with a triple basket.
Got the VST basket on the way.

Coffee is a big love of mine, right up there with cocktails, and cooking.
Yes knives are part of that cooking thing :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdNzBV0zqyw

SameGuy
08-29-2013, 11:11 AM
I did a couple of test pulls this morning with the factory-recommended starting point of 1-K on the Vario. My usual 19.5 g in a Synesso 18 g basket choked the stock (but fairly well-used) Silvia. 23 g in the VST triple yielded a slightly bitter, powdery shot but a pretty decent cone with the naked PF. Dialled the micro back to O and dosed the same and the VST blonded a bit early, but there was no powder. I'll play some more this afternoon, but MAN what a difference from a cheap burr grinder! ;)

vinster
08-29-2013, 05:36 PM
I had a Baratza Vario for about a year. It worked pretty well, as long as you had some beans in the hopper. It was horribly inconsistent if you were dosing one shot at a time. If you use the manufacturer's instructions to calibrate your zero point, I think I was usually grinding around 1 notch down on the left (macro) side and about a third of the way down in the micro adjustment. If I changed beans, I normally only had to change the micro adjustment up or down a few notches. it was very rare that I had to move the macro lever.

DerSnap
08-30-2013, 05:59 AM
I did a couple of test pulls this morning with the factory-recommended starting point of 1-K on the Vario. My usual 19.5 g in a Synesso 18 g basket choked the stock (but fairly well-used) Silvia. 23 g in the VST triple yielded a slightly bitter, powdery shot but a pretty decent cone with the naked PF. Dialled the micro back to O and dosed the same and the VST blonded a bit early, but there was no powder. I'll play some more this afternoon, but MAN what a difference from a cheap burr grinder! ;)


How you liking the VST filters? I have mine on the way (somewhere in the mail) and pretty excited to use.
I been advised that a flatter tamper is also better well currently I am using a slightly convex version.
Today I came down to 22grams and got a much better extraction. Still they are pulling a bit long over the 34 second mark, but taste great.

My steaming though for milk has taken a turn for the worse. Not sure if its the milk I have (same brand) or if I am just off.

SameGuy
08-30-2013, 09:46 AM
I learned this morning not to use the naked PF after working a taxing graveyard shift and taking muscle relaxants before bed. What a mess! :)

AFKitchenknivesguy
08-30-2013, 11:30 PM
How you liking the VST filters? I have mine on the way (somewhere in the mail) and pretty excited to use.
I been advised that a flatter tamper is also better well currently I am using a slightly convex version.
Today I came down to 22grams and got a much better extraction. Still they are pulling a bit long over the 34 second mark, but taste great.

My steaming though for milk has taken a turn for the worse. Not sure if its the milk I have (same brand) or if I am just off.

You really have to try different milks out. When I lived in Germany, I had a hard time finding milk that wasn't ultra pasturized/shelf stable; it's hard to get good microfoam with it. Try finding the freshest milk you can find, and use whole milk.

AFKitchenknivesguy
08-30-2013, 11:30 PM
I learned this morning not to use the naked PF after working a taxing graveyard shift and taking muscle relaxants before bed. What a mess! :)

Please, do tell...

SameGuy
08-31-2013, 02:09 AM
Just didn't do something right, dosing, distribution, tamping... I'm still honing the new grinder for Red Bird. Had three different micro-jets beside the main cone, one spraying the backsplash of the machine, one my hand and one the counter and even the floor. Tiny little espresso dots everywhere!

SameGuy
08-31-2013, 02:37 AM
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NOlJMqfpmCY/UiGNUcBkRZI/AAAAAAAACF0/doY4Mg3o5Ag/s640/image.jpg


Yes, the chrome has peeled off the plastic group head cowl...

DerSnap
08-31-2013, 07:34 AM
You really have to try different milks out. When I lived in Germany, I had a hard time finding milk that wasn't ultra pasturized/shelf stable; it's hard to get good microfoam with it. Try finding the freshest milk you can find, and use whole milk.

I use a good Organic (Bio) Milk here Alpine stuff with 3.8% fat. It was just this specific one that was a bit flat for frothing. Today it was fine.
By off I meant my latte art is just not as fancy as when I used to make 400+ a day as a barista.

VST 20 gram just arrived last night, and dialing it in. So far seems pretty good.

vinster
09-01-2013, 01:13 AM
Just didn't do something right, dosing, distribution, tamping... I'm still honing the new grinder for Red Bird. Had three different micro-jets beside the main cone, one spraying the backsplash of the machine, one my hand and one the counter and even the floor. Tiny little espresso dots everywhere!

When I get uneven extractions, I often fall back to using the WDT and/or dosing down. For whatever reason, dosing "too much" in a basket makes my shots more prone to channelling.

vinster
09-01-2013, 01:14 AM
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NOlJMqfpmCY/UiGNUcBkRZI/AAAAAAAACF0/doY4Mg3o5Ag/s640/image.jpg


Yes, the chrome has peeled off the plastic group head cowl...

It looks like the coffee is coming out fast here. How long did this shot run? Was the picture taken towards the end?

SameGuy
09-01-2013, 02:27 AM
Towards the end, yes. This was at about 24 seconds. I'm still dialling in the grind, but the channeling is definitely just operator error. I'll try dosing down and refining my initial distribution.

SameGuy
09-01-2013, 07:56 PM
For the amount of espresso made in this household I'm not ready to plunk down two grand for a rotary pump HX or DB machine, and the Silvia can make decent shots from time to time. It occurs to me that using the Weiss Disribution Technique in a Synesso double basket and tamping with all my might (while blaming the old grinder for the need to do that!) for years was providing a lot of coverage for any deficiencies. The grinder is no longer a source of inconsistency, and tamping the fine, fluffy, fresh coffee at 30-35 lbs should at least get me close to a nice, long pull. Rather, I'm getting channeling and micro-jets, and it pours at close to gusher rates.

I am now wondering what the GH pressure is during a brew. Another couple hundred for a pressure gauge and (while I'm in there) a PID should at least eliminate the equipment as sources of problems and inconsistency, and leave the operator as the main variable in the system.

WildBoar
09-01-2013, 08:19 PM
Sounds like you may need to tighten the grind a bit.

SameGuy
09-01-2013, 10:04 PM
Yeah, still tweaking that, but I'm already almost as fine as the Vario goes (1-H this morning).

SameGuy
09-01-2013, 10:25 PM
Come to think of it, Vin, I put away my yogurt container upon acquiring the Vario, figuring the new grinder would solve several problems off the bat (uneven grind, clumping and distribution). I suppose I should fall back to it temporarily to see if that is indeed needed until I can get more proficient with Schomer or Stockfleth and the fluffier grind. A good pull using my old method would (at least temporarily) delay more expense in the form of a pressure gauge, but I really want temperature stability. Surfing is for kids. :)

DerSnap
09-02-2013, 01:13 AM
Channeling is almost always caused by uneven distribution in the filter or tamping too hard. I have seen so many Barista's learning and torquing down on the tamp that is creates this problem. It is like honing on a fine stone where you go too hard it may bite in and get gouged by the knife, but not enough pressure and you receive no results.

Update:
VST basket 20 grams: Not sure I am really liking this basket. It makes really nice even espresso pulls and I totally am impressed with the technology. However I think I am missing the triple shots so a 22 gram may be on order. :)

As for the 25-34ish second pulls. This is just a guideline, abet a decent one. When you start going larger doses, like triples this may change. Oddly single shots pull around the same time :/ When we where testing out various roasts (fresh with in a few days) on the triples we often found shots did not fully develop to 45 seconds :o

vinster
09-02-2013, 11:13 PM
Yeah, still tweaking that, but I'm already almost as fine as the Vario goes (1-H this morning).

There were some beans and roasts that I couldn't get slow enough, even at the Vario's finest grind setting. I agree with Wildboard -- keep going finer. Also, having beans in the hopper really helps a lot with getting consistent grinds.

DerSnap
09-03-2013, 01:28 AM
There were some beans and roasts that I couldn't get slow enough, even at the Vario's finest grind setting. I agree with Wildboard -- keep going finer. Also, having beans in the hopper really helps a lot with getting consistent grinds.

If you have to keep going finer, or too fine then it can also be the beans are not fresh enough, or over roasted. The darker the roast the more likely it is you will need to go finer.

This shot I did with a less fine grind, on the old triple basket. Decent crema, decent flow, not too light either, although its a tad lighter than the phone picked up. Also a big factor I found was to take the temperature down on my machine as it was pushing 1.5+ bars on the boiler. I still need to adjust the brew pressure but have not figured out how to do this in this specific machine.

http://807recordings.com/PRESS/Knife/tripple-naked.jpg

apicius9
09-03-2013, 01:39 AM
Looks nice. I had struggled with my HX Anita the last time I tried, shots were way too bitter. I wish I could just get a PID'ed dual boiler machine, that seems so much easier. When I move again in a couple of weeks I can get it out of storage, set it up and dial it in again from scratch. I'll probably fly in a few pounds of roasted espresso beans for that, not yet sure what the best one would be. I liked the Sweet Maria blend and also remember Vivace fondly. Any other recommendations for beans that are more on the chocolatey side?

Stefan

WildBoar
09-03-2013, 12:23 PM
Note on the hopper: I only make 1-2 double-shots per day, so keeping enough beans in the hopper to help with the grind was not really an option. Plus the cabinet above was too low to allow the grinder to be pushed back enough from the front of the counter. So I removed the hopper, and whenever I go to grind I load beans in the throat of the grinder and then put a metal tamper into the throat to keep the beans weighed down. This method works really well, assuming the throat of the grinder is big enough. If you are having to leave a lot of beans in the hopper and they are getting stale, you will constantly be tightening the grind and may eventually reach a point where it is not possible to get the extraction time you want. But by then the espresso won't be tasting all that great anyway.

vinster
09-03-2013, 12:32 PM
The tamper serves a similar purpose, and that's actually what I do with my current grinder. But when I had the Vario, having beans to keep an even flow of beans to the burrs seemed to make a big difference in consistency. I didn't keep the hopper full -- just enough beans in the hopper for 2-3 days of drinks.

rahimlee54
09-03-2013, 05:37 PM
Looks nice. I had struggled with my HX Anita the last time I tried, shots were way too bitter. I wish I could just get a PID'ed dual boiler machine, that seems so much easier. When I move again in a couple of weeks I can get it out of storage, set it up and dial it in again from scratch. I'll probably fly in a few pounds of roasted espresso beans for that, not yet sure what the best one would be. I liked the Sweet Maria blend and also remember Vivace fondly. Any other recommendations for beans that are more on the chocolatey side?

Stefan

I enjoy Counter Culture Tuscano and Rustico at my house but if there is anything else fresh roasted at the local shops I usually grab that and branch out.

AFKitchenknivesguy
09-03-2013, 06:39 PM
Looks nice. I had struggled with my HX Anita the last time I tried, shots were way too bitter. I wish I could just get a PID'ed dual boiler machine, that seems so much easier. When I move again in a couple of weeks I can get it out of storage, set it up and dial it in again from scratch. I'll probably fly in a few pounds of roasted espresso beans for that, not yet sure what the best one would be. I liked the Sweet Maria blend and also remember Vivace fondly. Any other recommendations for beans that are more on the chocolatey side?

Stefan

Red Bird would be perfect.

apicius9
09-03-2013, 08:00 PM
Thanks guys. I will also eventually scout the local roasters but for value Red Bird seems hard to beat if I want to use a lot to dial in the machine. And I had always wanted to try it, anyway, so I see a 5 pound bag in my near future.

Stefan

WildBoar
09-03-2013, 10:01 PM
I enjoy Counter Culture Tuscano and Rustico at my house but if there is anything else fresh roasted at the local shops I usually grab that and branch out.x2 on the CC blends.


Red Bird would be perfect.I just tried this a few months ago, and found it very, very flat in relation to the CC blends. I played with doseage, shot duration, etc. and nothing made much of a difference.

Took a page out of rahimlee's playbook and picked up a 5 lb bag from a fairly new local roaster/ coffee shop about 2 months ago. The price was higher then Red Bird, but a bit less than CC. Flavor intensity sits in between those two; has a decent amount of chocolate and citrus. Company is swingscoffee.com.

vinster
09-03-2013, 10:47 PM
A blend I like is Redline from Metropolis. Their prices are decent and shipping is free if you spend 50 bucks (4lbs). There is loads of chocolate, particularly at finer grinds and lower doses.

SameGuy
09-04-2013, 02:50 PM
WDT FTW! I tightened the grind a little (now 1-E, or five clicks from the finest), stirred and distributed, tamped to 35 lbs and let her rip. The result? One of the best cups I've ever brewed at home. The dark streams came together after about 8 seconds into a fine cone, followed by beautiful striping. 32 seconds to 50 ml with no channeling or micro-jets, and it was heavenly!

FWIW, I find Red Bird to be very smooth yet plenty interesting. True, it's not like the Black Cat of yore, but it has lots of subtle notes, great fruit or berry sweetness and excellent mouth feel. It makes great crema, though I find that the crema doesn't last anywhere near long enough for some reason, even three days off the roast. Then again, IC's prices have gotten insane, have you shopped them lately? For the price ($50 for five pounds, shipped) and Jeff's great customer service, it's truly hard to beat Red Bird.

Unfortunately, all the local roasters are out to lunch. Either they base their prices on IC's, or they produce a bland, uninspired Illy/Lavazza knockoff that is marketed specifically to the large, under-informed but patriotic Little Italy community here. Every time I discuss coffee with a local of Italian descent, they always say, "Have you tried 'Prima Goccia'? It's what I buy." Blech.

Thus my choices are rather bad: either spend silly money for good coffees like Black Cat, Saint Henri's God Shot or Pilot's Big Bro, or buy five pound bags of Red Bird, divvy it up into 8-oz packs (yes, I vac seal and freeze them) and deal with the consequences. I split a bag with my mom, and can go through my three pounds in about a month.

DerSnap
09-05-2013, 01:12 AM
Great that your shots are turning out. I know when I started to get them tuned in that suddenly I made a very wise investment. I rarely go out now for coffee, but I will search or go to a few great places (around the world) just to search them out. It is like fine wines, or spirits where they are all different but good.

Here I only have one good roaster, but Berlin Bonanza Coffee Hero's does one of the Best coffees anywhere in the world with awesome machines. Used to be a Synesso then they moved up to the Kees Van Der Western Spirit http://keesvanderwesten.com/spirit-pictures.html. Also there is a great roaster in Hamburg.

The picture I linked was on espresso almost a month old, so you should not be loosing crema that fast. Perhaps its time you became the next famous local roaster ;)

Cheers,
Shamus

SameGuy
09-05-2013, 01:53 AM
Maybe I should come over to try them! I need some parts for my little smart fortwo cabrio, and have found them in Duisburg, Berlin and Stuttgart at less than half the price I can get them here!

For what it's worth, I am the same way: when I travel, I seek out the best local third wave coffee establishments, like Barista Jam in Hong Kong or Alen's Espresso in Brisbane.

DerSnap
09-05-2013, 04:52 AM
Maybe I should come over to try them! I need some parts for my little smart fortwo cabrio, and have found them in Duisburg, Berlin and Stuttgart at less than half the price I can get them here!

For what it's worth, I am the same way: when I travel, I seek out the best local third wave coffee establishments, like Barista Jam in Hong Kong or Alen's Espresso in Brisbane.

Once you been touched by the God Shots its always a quest. I got to say its really sad when your away, or abroad and can't get a good shot. France was one of the worst places I found coffee, and Copenhagen pretty much top quality across the board. Germany has a lot to learn though, but like Gin or Chef's when they are on it is absolutely top level.

Personally I been considering trying my luck at the roasting also, but so far I have not made the commitment.

SameGuy
09-06-2013, 12:13 PM
I was able to almost choke the Silvia/VST 22 this morning with Red Bird (11 days off roast) with a setting of 1-C and 30 lbs tamp. 43 seconds to 50 ml, but really nice striping and good, lasting crema.

I ordered a full kit of goodies to mod the Silvia last night: liquid-filled pressure gauge and fittings, PID, SSR and thermocouple, silicone insulation for the boiler, group head and steam pipe, a new shower screen... I will also try to mute some of the noise it creates, using Dynamat Extreme and some foam soundproofing, both of which I already have from a long-ago automotive project. Along with the new cowling and a v.3 steam knob (for looks), I think this will be the last money I put into my coffee habits for quite some time.

SameGuy
09-08-2013, 02:01 PM
Even though I rarely make milk beverages at home, I decided to order the v3 steam valve and wand kit, this time from JL Hufford. $69.95 and free shipping, it's cheaper than anywhere else. I figure with the much more consistent shots I'm getting now, plus with temperature stability with the PID, it will be less of a PITA to make milk drinks, so why not upgrade the wand, too?

This will definitely be the last of my investments in coffee gear for some time! I think I'm into the Silvia for close to a grand at this point, but for all intents and purposes it is now an upgraded v3 with PID, pressure gauge and naked v3 portafilter. Will it make espresso as good as a $3000 DB machine? Not likely, but it will be so close as to not matter. I'm already pulling better shots than anything I'm able to find in cafes around here, and it's costing me about 60¢ a shot...

rahimlee54
09-08-2013, 04:19 PM
That should be a nice setup, hope you enjoy it.

AFKitchenknivesguy
09-08-2013, 05:00 PM
Even though I rarely make milk beverages at home, I decided to order the v3 steam valve and wand kit, this time from JL Hufford. $69.95 and free shipping, it's cheaper than anywhere else. I figure with the much more consistent shots I'm getting now, plus with temperature stability with the PID, it will be less of a PITA to make milk drinks, so why not upgrade the wand, too?

This will definitely be the last of my investments in coffee gear for some time! I think I'm into the Silvia for close to a grand at this point, but for all intents and purposes it is now an upgraded v3 with PID, pressure gauge and naked v3 portafilter. Will it make espresso as good as a $3000 DB machine? Not likely, but it will be so close as to not matter. I'm already pulling better shots than anything I'm able to find in cafes around here, and it's costing me about 60¢ a shot...

It definitely has the capability to make some great drinks, but the key will be you. More expensive machines just make it easier to make great drinks, but still won't with a barista and no skills.

SameGuy
09-08-2013, 08:06 PM
...like at all my local coffee places (not to mention the all the chain places at the airport where I work).

rahimlee54
09-09-2013, 08:50 PM
I was weak and bought a new machine it will be here tomorrow, this is my last machine ever haha. I'll throw up a pic tomorrow evening or early Wednesday morning.

SameGuy
09-09-2013, 09:16 PM
Hehe. I feel that. I'd have to sell my car to get the machine I want...

vinster
09-09-2013, 09:55 PM
Hehe. I feel that. I'd have to sell my car to get the machine I want...

Speedster?

SameGuy
09-10-2013, 12:11 PM
Aw, man. I even keep forgetting about the Speedster. See? My dreams are actually down-to-earth! LOL

Nah, I just want a DB QuickMill. But that's still two grand for a one-double-a-day habit. And after I've spent maybe a grand on a souped up Silvia.

AFKitchenknivesguy
09-10-2013, 05:58 PM
I was weak and bought a new machine it will be here tomorrow, this is my last machine ever haha. I'll throw up a pic tomorrow evening or early Wednesday morning.

Can you give us more?

rahimlee54
09-10-2013, 10:24 PM
I have pretty much just sat down had to drive a decent ways to pick it up. This was a review for a local coffee forum, the guy that runs the place wanted to keep it but with his already great setup couldn't justify the money so I got a new machine at an incredible price. I didn't think I'd ever have anything at this level but I couldn't resist it.


La Marzocco GS3

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-NtjKJtWnt8I/Ui_UAH4gkmI/AAAAAAAAEbg/9lykyVjGkC4/w426-h568/IMG_20130910_220321.jpg\

SameGuy
09-10-2013, 10:37 PM
Jeezus. Grats!

rahimlee54
09-11-2013, 09:18 AM
Jeezus. Grats!

I'll actually pull a few shots tonight :). It is a monster at 70 plus pounds. Should be a step up. Who needs a Silvano haha.

SameGuy
09-11-2013, 12:59 PM
Uhh, how much for the Silvano? Sis/BIL were looking at Brewtus...

vinster
09-11-2013, 01:07 PM
I'll actually pull a few shots tonight :). It is a monster at 70 plus pounds. Should be a step up. Who needs a Silvano haha.

Are you using it on a tank or plumbed in?

AFKitchenknivesguy
09-12-2013, 12:28 AM
Damn that is awesome, I'm jelly.

geezr
09-12-2013, 02:59 AM
[QUOTE=rahimlee54;241011]I have pretty much just sat down had to drive a decent ways to pick it up. This was a review for a local coffee forum, the guy that runs the place wanted to keep it but with his already great setup couldn't justify the money so I got a new machine at an incredible price. I didn't think I'd ever have anything at this level but I couldn't resist it.
La Marzocco GS3 /QUOTE]

Congrats re. great buy and having the space for it :thumbsup:

DerSnap
09-12-2013, 07:56 AM
Yes awesome machine!

You can really make the God Shots on those once you take some time to get to know it, slight mods to. I have always loved working on LaMrz machines, and for home its just awesome.

:)

rahimlee54
09-12-2013, 08:20 AM
I'll actually pull a shot tonight and see how it goes. Had to take a day off the gym to clean and read instructions and set the thing up. I have a hard time missing my workouts but sometimes you need to drink a few espressi.

DerSnap
09-12-2013, 09:12 AM
I'll actually pull a shot tonight and see how it goes. Had to take a day off the gym to clean and read instructions and set the thing up. I have a hard time missing my workouts but sometimes you need to drink a few espressi.


There is a lot you can adjust.
Group pressure, I think pressure profiles?
Temp at head, boiler, etc.
Pretty deep kit!

chokobo
09-12-2013, 10:04 AM
Congrats on the GS3!!! Are you going one step further and getting the Strada MP mod?

WildBoar
09-12-2013, 10:10 AM
I have pretty much just sat down had to drive a decent ways to pick it up. This was a review for a local coffee forum, the guy that runs the place wanted to keep it but with his already great setup couldn't justify the money so I got a new machine at an incredible price. I didn't think I'd ever have anything at this level but I couldn't resist it.\Sweet! You will love it. I got one 4 years ago as a wedding present for my wife and I. Once the credit card bill was paid I never regretted the purchase :biggrin:

vinster
09-12-2013, 02:25 PM
Sweet! You will love it. I got one 4 years ago as a wedding present for my wife and I. Once the credit card bill was paid I never regretted the purchase :biggrin:

That's a *really* nice wedding present :doublethumbsup:

WildBoar
09-12-2013, 03:28 PM
hey, I felt we were worth it :D

rahimlee54
09-12-2013, 07:51 PM
Got everything setup and pulled a couple of shots, as good as my old machine but I am still getting a feel for it. Ruined some perfectly good milk by steaming it poorly for my wife, and I couldn't figured out how to turn the thing off haha. It should be a fun learning experience and an awesome piece of equipment.

WildBoar
09-12-2013, 11:21 PM
Steaming was the toughest thing for me to nail down. It goes quick if you are only steaming enough for one cappa. When I bought mine it was common for people to change out the wand, but I stuck with the stock one. Not sure if the wand on the current machines is the same one or not.

vinster
09-13-2013, 12:04 AM
My stock wand is very very powerful! Took me a while to get used to it, and I still have problems with it from time to time. I've found that it's easiest to steam a small amount of milk (< 4oz) using an 8oz pitcher. I submerge the tip for just a second or two to get some hissing, then I plunge it to get the whirlpool going.

If you're looking to do a short cap or machiato, you're just going to have to accept the fact that you're going to dump some milk. I usually dump just a bit off the top which happens to be the most fluffy anyway.

A friend swears by his sproline tip. I'm not sure if I'm ready to spend the $100+ on it.

vinster
09-13-2013, 12:05 AM
Got everything setup and pulled a couple of shots, as good as my old machine but I am still getting a feel for it. Ruined some perfectly good milk by steaming it poorly for my wife, and I couldn't figured out how to turn the thing off haha. It should be a fun learning experience and an awesome piece of equipment.

Turning off the machine? or the steam wand? Take caution turning off the machine!!! if you push the wrong button, you might get a handful of hot water from the tea spout.

WildBoar
09-13-2013, 11:59 AM
Take caution turning off the machine!!! if you push the wrong button, you might get a handful of hot water from the tea spout.This WILL happen. A bunch! They really do not intend for the machine to be turned on and off a lot. I'm surprised they have not changed that over the last 4+ years.

For frothing, I go with the same amount of milk (around 3-3.5 oz) and pitcher size as Vinster. I initially used a bigger pitcher but it just did not work.

rahimlee54
09-13-2013, 06:47 PM
One for good measure why not https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cnhDhe6dXHE/UjONVGRwLAI/AAAAAAAAEcs/yW7L4adYT5Q/w634-h845-no/IMG_20130913_181004.jpg

Thanks for all the good info here guys, its been helpful.

AFKitchenknivesguy
09-13-2013, 07:47 PM
I just ordered some Rustico and Toscano from Counter Culture, would love to pull those shots with that!

AFKitchenknivesguy
09-13-2013, 07:50 PM
BTW, all you need to do now is customize it. This is the guy to do it:

http://www.home-barista.com/marketplace/custom-wood-for-your-espresso-machine-t10642.html

My Vibiemme Domobar Super has some cocobolo knobs made by him, and they are awesome!

rahimlee54
09-13-2013, 07:58 PM
I just ordered some Rustico and Toscano from Counter Culture, would love to pull those shots with that!

That shot is Rustico, it is prob my favorite blend from them.

I can't do any work to this for quite sometime, a new shower install and espresso machine all within a couple of weeks of one another makes my bank account sad :lol2:.

SameGuy
09-13-2013, 10:39 PM
Nice coffee pr0n!

SameGuy
09-15-2013, 06:44 PM
Jason, thanks for the link! That's great stuff. I only ever visit CG or HB once in a blue moon, usually when I'm shopping or have a problem.

Anybody know if black palm can be turned? I can imagine a steam knob, PF and Reg handles, and a dosing funnel all in dark black palm with golden leopard spots!

AFKitchenknivesguy
09-15-2013, 10:53 PM
Jason, thanks for the link! That's great stuff. I only ever visit CG or HB once in a blue moon, usually when I'm shopping or have a problem.

Anybody know if black palm can be turned? I can imagine a steam knob, PF and Reg handles, and a dosing funnel all in dark black palm with golden leopard spots!

Ask Dave (in the link). Ironically, he is from my the town next to my home town. Never met him in person, but he did turn me knobs for my Vebiemme.

jalanpipes
09-16-2013, 01:06 AM
Black palm is tough to turn. It needs stabilized first or you get really bad tearout.

I turned the levers and porta-handle on my Elektra out of curly maple. Lovely wood, and it responds really well to dyes.

rahimlee54
09-17-2013, 01:11 PM
You guys should put up some pics of your tampers and other such mods, always cool to see what people have done.

DerSnap
09-19-2013, 09:15 AM
man I could use a good coffee right about now. Too bad machine is at home and what we have at work is beyond your worse nightmares.

Speaking of Tampers, I been considering a new Torr Titanium model, 50/50 on flat vs convex this time round?

SameGuy
09-19-2013, 10:47 PM
Did you notice the "slack" with the VST baskets? They're 58.35 mm instead of the standard LM or Synesso 58.0 mm. I am considering either a Cafelat in 58.35, or a new base from Reg at 58.3 mm.

SameGuy
09-19-2013, 10:57 PM
Meanwhile, I think I found the source of my poor extractions... I changed the shower screen on the Silvia's group head. Holy cow, what a difference! I guess five-plus years of daily scrubbing with a Pallö brush took its toll and caused really poor dispersion. The water now comes out evenly across the entire screen instead of a few strong streams near the middle.

Of course, now I have to adjust the grind and tamp again because without all the channeling it seems like it's almost choking.

DerSnap
09-20-2013, 05:40 AM
Did you notice the "slack" with the VST baskets? They're 58.35 mm instead of the standard LM or Synesso 58.0 mm. I am considering either a Cafelat in 58.35, or a new base from Reg at 58.3 mm.

I noticed my tor which is 57.5, or something similar is a touch loose on the edge. Even on my old triple.
However as it is convex it will fit tight as long as you don't over dose.

On the screen I find if I do not do back flush and clean regularly it will not shower in a fine way, but more towards the centre in a harder flow. Of course clean makes for a much more precise taste that I notice.

rahimlee54
09-20-2013, 10:17 PM
I just got the VST baskets with my new machine. I use the same 58 mm tamper with no real problem, both the supplied tamper and the one I purchased are rounded and not flat.

vinster
09-20-2013, 11:31 PM
Did you notice the "slack" with the VST baskets? They're 58.35 mm instead of the standard LM or Synesso 58.0 mm. I am considering either a Cafelat in 58.35, or a new base from Reg at 58.3 mm.


There's a guy on eBay who does precision 58.35mm tampers for fairly cheap, or at least cheaper than reg. I think I paid around $30 bucks for my flat bottom.

quantumcloud509
09-24-2013, 05:19 PM
I like to drink my coffee out of a mug.

DerSnap
09-25-2013, 09:45 AM
Torr has them in 58.4, but I wonder if this too large?
http://cafe-kultur.de/products/torr-xs-palisander

Different types of base also in convex, flat, etc.

I am also searching out, and may try a Titanium next from them, with wood handle.

AFKitchenknivesguy
09-25-2013, 06:11 PM
I like to drink my coffee out of a mug.

Cool story bro.

SameGuy
09-26-2013, 05:26 AM
Hey, if Ricardo thinks it's "good to the last drop," who are we to question him?

rahimlee54
09-27-2013, 08:06 PM
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-maheiAMX2MY/UkYPyp3Xd2I/AAAAAAAAEgU/OcOfsRir55M/w1127-h845-no/IMG_20130927_190724.jpg

Coffee in a small mug.

SameGuy
10-03-2013, 08:55 PM
Before

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-G3ykVXKeMQ8/Uk4PsqQ5MUI/AAAAAAAACKo/h6QQeI34ex0/s400/image.jpg


During [gulp]


https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cD1AhussK18/Uk4PsRchxRI/AAAAAAAACKs/UH2g9hM8lrE/s400/image.jpg


After


https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-cb-rDzBjYOo/Uk4PswJAYfI/AAAAAAAACKw/e5fLf-VPFZM/s400/image.jpg


Now to clean it all up and do a final calibration. Pretty cool, though.

cord_steele
10-03-2013, 09:56 PM
That's amazing. No more guessing about temperature.

SameGuy
10-03-2013, 10:14 PM
Not (or only somewhat) visible: I insulated the boiler and PID, swapped the old-style steam wand for the commercial-style v.3 wand, replaced the peeling plastic cowling, and applied about ten pounds of Dynamat Extreme sound-deadening material to the insides. HUGE difference!

rahimlee54
10-03-2013, 11:15 PM
That should help alot looks good. Hope the coffee is better for you :).

SameGuy
10-03-2013, 11:51 PM
Well, the coffee was already "pretty good," but this will definitely help with shot-to-shot consistency, water and energy savings, convenience, and noise mitigation. Wife is already loving the sound-deadening! Plus, no more bleed-off of air locks from overshooting the temperature? She'll love that that noise is gone, too!

apicius9
10-04-2013, 01:40 AM
Cool! A friend has a pimped Silvia and loves it. Next weekend I will finally get my Anita out of storage and play around a bit. Just before I had packed it up, I had replaced a few tubes and tried to run it in but I guess I have to start over. Shots were way too bitter and I need to play around with the boiler pressure. Better order some coffee, so I have material to play with...

Stefan

SameGuy
10-04-2013, 05:24 AM
I was struck by how imilahe Anita sounds compared to the Silvia, except that it's a bit more subdued (lots more heft to the QM's construction). I guess they share a very similar Ulka pump. I wonder if the Anita would also benefit from some sound deadener -- the Silvia has lots of flexible, thin panels that vibrate like crazy.

First couple of shots this morning are impressive. I had to bleed off a few times because I couldn't believe there was no huge overshoot (and thus, boil-off) causing vapor-lock. But, as I should have trusted, no vapor-lock! With 22.5 g in the VST tamped about 35 lbs, the pump built up to 9 bar and sat there until the end of the 28 second shot. Cool.

DerSnap
10-07-2013, 06:06 AM
Just got my new base/piston for my Torr Tamper. This time I went with a 85.4 to and convex 2 bottom. Basically a convex with a flat bottom in the middle. Fits the VST basket perfectly. Not sure if it is the fit, or the different curve but shots are seriously a step up.

If I was to describe the taste I would say there was always this very slight slight hint of bitterness hiding in the background. Not really there but more implied like when you know someone is standing behind you. Now that has subsided and brought forward some flavours like cinnamon or butterscotch. Very interesting, and a bit of a surprise. Same grind settings, heat settings, pressure, etc. Did a couple of side by sides just to be sure.

Pulling 20grams in a 20 gram VST.
Also a bit energized and ready to spring my bike to work (too much coffee). :)

SameGuy
10-07-2013, 10:04 AM
Not really there but more implied like when you know someone is standing behind you. :)
How very existentialist, Mr. Sartre! LOL

These are interesting observations; I may have to consider getting the new base for my Reg Barber.

CoqaVin
10-07-2013, 01:55 PM
How very existentialist, Mr. Sartre! LOL

These are interesting observations; I may have to consider getting the new base for my Reg Barber.

what is the best coffee to you?

I am sure this has been asked before....don't have the time to go back through all the thread plus my computer stinks LOL

Ethiopian Yergacheffe?

I am wondering because I really love my coffee in the AM as I am in such a rush usually I just go with the Keurig...I know I should be roasting and using a french press or whatever but I just don't have the time

SameGuy
10-19-2013, 01:44 AM
Ordered a 58.35 mm (VST) base for my Reg Barber tamper from eBay seller precisiontampermaker (http://www.ebay.com/usr/precisiontampermaker) and I couldn't be happier. After a series of emails to confirm the size and style I wanted, the part was shipped quickly from West Palm Beach, FL, to my address in waaaay upstate NY and got there in three days over the holiday weekend by USPS Priority Post. The workmanship and finishing is impeccable, And my digital calipers measure the base at precisely 58.350 mm. The only noticeable difference with the Reg base is that his is cut to set the handle in, providing a flush transition from the handle to the base. The new base is flat above the bevel, but together they still look like an original piece. At $27.50 plus shipping, this is a great deal. As noted above, it had an instant impact (no pun intended) on my shots.

SameGuy
10-19-2013, 01:34 PM
Calibrated the Vario this morning as I was noticing I needed quite a bit more than 150 N (~33 lbs) of force to slow my shots at a very fine setting; the "multiple-pass" tamping style that was necessary with the undersized piston probably hid this from me while the new one made it obvious. The Vario needed five full turns of the adjuster screw to get in tune! Now I have to dial in my grind again, but set around 2/3 down the micro scale and tamped to a measured 33 lbs in one stroke, the first shot was a leisurely ten seconds to first drops and 43 seconds total to 50 ml. Interesting flavors and notes at this rate.

apicius9
10-19-2013, 02:54 PM
Ok, I'm back in on the fun, kind of. Got the Anita running last night after the brew pump needed a bit of help at first - had been sitting in storage for a year. Used some cleaner for the boiler and tubes, scrubbed the screen and gasket which did not need replacement after all, soaked and cleaned all the filters etc. Now the real fun begins, even though with a small delay. Need to adjust the brew pressure first but the tubing is a bit short and I am waiting for some new tubing to come in. Then it's time to dial it in. Just got 5# of Redbird to play with the fine-tuning. Still a long way to go but it was already good enough to make a decent latte this morning, needs more work before I can pull an espresso I am proud of. Already found myself looking at grinders again, but the Rocky will have to do for a little while more, I just barely avoided bankruptcy... Need to get a small scale, though. I want to keep it at a reasonable level and not make a science experiment of every shot, but I learned before that it helps to measure it all up in the beginning to figure out the routine. This should be fun, I missed the coffee rituals at home.

Stefan

P.S. I think I will have to read up on VST baskets...

DerSnap
10-21-2013, 10:51 AM
Ordered a 58.35 mm (VST) base for my Reg Barber tamper from eBay seller precisiontampermaker (http://www.ebay.com/usr/precisiontampermaker) and I couldn't be happier. After a series of emails to confirm the size and style I wanted, the part was shipped quickly from West Palm Beach, FL, to my address in waaaay upstate NY and got there in three days over the holiday weekend by USPS Priority Post. The workmanship and finishing is impeccable, And my digital calipers measure the base at precisely 58.350 mm. The only noticeable difference with the Reg base is that his is cut to set the handle in, providing a flush transition from the handle to the base. The new base is flat above the bevel, but together they still look like an original piece. At $27.50 plus shipping, this is a great deal. As noted above, it had an instant impact (no pun intended) on my shots.

So if I understand your basically on a Euro type base also (convex 2)? Torr who I got my tamper base from also said despite VST suggesting a flat base that a slightly bevelled base seems to work better. I do know now with the VST that its pretty much exact in espresso weight, tamp pressure, etc. 20 grams is what its rated at and basically this is where I get my best shots from. If not then I did not tamp correct or set grind correct, or the espresso is just ****.

I am liking the 20 over former 23g. Give that nice clean flavour with just the right amount of depth that the 18 never hit.

aaamax
10-24-2013, 01:49 PM
Now if we just start a thread on old Panhead Bobbers all my bases would be covered, lol (I ride an old Evo to work).
One of the best things I ever talked myself into was a first class espresso machine and grinder (Expobar Lever & Mazer Mini). Wasn't easy pulling the trigger on so much dough, but I figured it would pay for itself in one year. And yes, it did and I've been livin' good ever since.

DerSnap
10-25-2013, 06:23 AM
Now if we just start a thread on old Panhead Bobbers all my bases would be covered, lol (I ride an old Evo to work).
One of the best things I ever talked myself into was a first class espresso machine and grinder (Expobar Lever & Mazer Mini). Wasn't easy pulling the trigger on so much dough, but I figured it would pay for itself in one year. And yes, it did and I've been livin' good ever since.


I totally agree with you.
For years I was sort of looking what machine to get. I had ECM in mind and then they had it at a new Media Markt here in Germany. Demo model, but never used. Of course all the porno german types wanted these **** bling machines that do it all. Some even cost over 3K euro. Anyways a few months go by and its sitting there all sad so I say I will give 800 euros. A lot of haggling and I took it with 12 months zero interest. Ran a Graef grinder for about a year with it. Then I got my Mazzer Mini Mod B with 12 month zero interest. That was 4 years or so ago and they have been dream machines ever since.

Of course I had worked as a barista in many places including the Drake Hotel when back in Canada. Did some local competitions, etc and used some very fine pro machines. I would say with the exception of a few shots I pulled on a Synesso I can get better quality at home now.

I wake, hit the machine to warm up, shower, have my cappuccino and ride to work. Its a great way to start the day ;)

SameGuy
10-27-2013, 02:10 AM
First good fix in a week, after too much Costa Coffee, I'm posting this from the tiny front bar at Raw Coffee in Al Quoz, Dubai UAE. First slap in the back of the head was a triple ristretto single-origin Sidamo Ethiopia. Huge citrus up front, very interesting profile, but not something I'd like to take home with me. Felix the barista asked me if I prefer something darker -- an obvious test, trying to weed out the Starbucks/Gloria Jeans/second Cup pretenders, I suppose -- and when I said I prefer a more rounded profile he suggested I try the "Walk In" (house) blend. It is superb​. More later!

aaamax
10-27-2013, 04:02 PM
I had ECM in mind and then they had it at a new Media Markt here in Germany.

A friend of mine has an ECM and it seems like a damn good machine.

Since you are in Germany, do you have any opinion on what the reality of buying a La Marzocco in Italy would be? Is there any savings to be had? So tempted to get one, but everything here in Sweden is so over-the-top expensive.

rahimlee54
10-27-2013, 07:19 PM
A friend of mine has an ECM and it seems like a damn good machine.

Since you are in Germany, do you have any opinion on what the reality of buying a La Marzocco in Italy would be? Is there any savings to be had? So tempted to get one, but everything here in Sweden is so over-the-top expensive.

If you can manage to get a price you can live with grab a La Marzocco. I am really enjoying mine, even though it took me a bit to figure out how to do maintenance on it :).

vinster
10-28-2013, 01:14 AM
If you can manage to get a price you can live with grab a La Marzocco. I am really enjoying mine, even though it took me a bit to figure out how to do maintenance on it :).

What sort of maintenance do you do on yours? I do a backflush with detergent and clean the grouphead every week or so. Backflush with water nightly. and generally try to move water through both boilers a few times a week. I think that's about all I do...

rahimlee54
10-28-2013, 07:58 AM
What sort of maintenance do you do on yours? I do a backflush with detergent and clean the grouphead every week or so. Backflush with water nightly. and generally try to move water through both
boilers a few times a week. I think that's about all I do...

Draining the boilers was new to me but not big deal, the biggest problem I had was the brew pressure adjustment piece got stuck and was sending the pressure to like 15 on the gauge. Just the learning curve of a new machine. The machine I had before didn't have anything you could do to it besides flush with detergent.

apicius9
11-10-2013, 08:14 AM
O.k., I finally replaced a few tubes in my Anita and will clean the grouphead tomorrow and dial it in with Redbird until I get shots I don't have to pour into milk... Of course, I haven't even gotten there and find myself researching upgrades already - it's a disease, at least as bad as knives... Here is the question: what will get me the bigger quality improvement, upgrading from my doserless Rancilio Rocky (to Macap M4, Mazzer Mini, Compak K3 - or a Baratza Vario(-W)?) or getting a Behmor to roast my own beans? I will have to save up for either one, and I am not sure what the best strategy is. The grinder would be for espresso only, and the Rocky would then be dedicated to French press and drip coffee, so I am leaning more toward one of the Italian metal monsters right now, but I am open to suggestions. However, since the doserless Rocky is throwing grinds all over the place (even with the yoghurt cup...), I am thinking about a grinder with a doser. As for roasting, I did that for a while with an IRoast 2 but the Behmor seems to be the better solution on all kinds of levels. Of course, it is illegal to import green beans to HI, so I will have to think of creative solutions for that...

Anyway, any thoughts on the best sequence here? Anybody selling a Mazzer mini for cheap or trading for knives or handles ;)

Stefan

WildBoar
11-10-2013, 11:13 AM
My opinion -- If you can source decent roated beans spend the $ on the grinder first. No sense roasting your own if you're not getting the best grind you can.

vinster
11-10-2013, 11:16 AM
I have a mazzer major I am maybe looking to sell. It's been sitting unused for about 6 months. It is a beast!

CoqaVin
11-10-2013, 11:16 AM
After beans are roasted or grind what is the optimal usage time or freshness ?

AFKitchenknivesguy
11-10-2013, 02:36 PM
After beans are roasted or grind what is the optimal usage time or freshness ?

After I roast, I use within a 2 week period (usually only roast enough for a week) and they are kept in a double valve bag. After ground, the freshness takes a huge dive, so I usually grind right before using. Remember, it's the oils that provide the flavor, and they dry up quick after exposed to oxygen, hence the stale flavor. To answer your second question, use in less than an hour after grinding, but preferably right away.

AFKitchenknivesguy
11-10-2013, 02:36 PM
I have a mazzer major I am maybe looking to sell. It's been sitting unused for about 6 months. It is a beast!

PM me I may be interested.

apicius9
11-10-2013, 03:16 PM
I have a mazzer major I am maybe looking to sell. It's been sitting unused for about 6 months. It is a beast!

Tempting as it is, that may be too much for me to handle - not enough space for it either, and I would not seriously be looking to buy before February. Jason, if you take the MM, what will you be selling? :)

Stefan

AFKitchenknivesguy
11-11-2013, 12:47 AM
Right now I have a couple Mazzer Mini's, but have been looking for a used Major for awhile.

apicius9
11-11-2013, 01:10 AM
Mmhh, I think a Mini would fit here. :) On local Craigslist someone is offering a used Jolly with new hopper, new lids and burrs in 'excellent shape', that made me think also. Again, bigger than I wanted and at $475 a touch more than it should be, but saving the hassle and cost of shipping one of these monsters out here is probably worth some extra cash. Dor the same money I get a factory refurbished Baratza Vario-W which supposedly is on one level with the Jolly but has a much smaller foot print - and much more plastic. Any thoughts on the Jolly vs. Mini vs. Vario-W? I guess all are ugrades over the Rocky, and I know there is no final word on this, I read the home-barista and coffee-geek discussions.

Stefan

AFKitchenknivesguy
11-11-2013, 01:37 AM
I don't know if I'd put the Vario on the same level as the Jolly, but it's a very capable machine. I'm not a fan of all the plastic for such an expensive grinder (in comparison to commercial grinder tank build). $475 for a used Jolly is too expensive. Considering burrs will almost always have to be replaced for a well used one, the usual sale price for a used one should be around $300, give or take the condition and how much it was used. I'd love to get a $2K grinder, but thats way above my needs at this point in life. Out of the three, if you go used you can't go wrong. For your situation, a used Vario may be the best option.

vinster
11-11-2013, 02:15 AM
Mmhh, I think a Mini would fit here. :) On local Craigslist someone is offering a used Jolly with new hopper, new lids and burrs in 'excellent shape', that made me think also. Again, bigger than I wanted and at $475 a touch more than it should be, but saving the hassle and cost of shipping one of these monsters out here is probably worth some extra cash. Dor the same money I get a factory refurbished Baratza Vario-W which supposedly is on one level with the Jolly but has a much smaller foot print - and much more plastic. Any thoughts on the Jolly vs. Mini vs. Vario-W? I guess all are ugrades over the Rocky, and I know there is no final word on this, I read the home-barista and coffee-geek discussions.

Stefan

I never had the mini, but I had both a vario and a super jolly. The vario was good and happy for about 6 months or so, then started to have lots of issues with consistency and static. I couldn't shake it off and I got a great deal on the SJ. The SJ I think was way better in terms of consistency.... then it got me curious, so I got a Major (for the bigger burr), and more recently I was more curious and wanted to try out a conical, so I got the K10. I didn't find the major to be much of an improvement over the SJ...

I'd recommend getting a used SJ if you can. they are built solid and fit great into the home environment.

apicius9
11-11-2013, 02:35 AM
Thanks guys, the more I am thinking about it, the more interesting the SJ sounds. I just contacted the person on Craigslist and offered him $350 for the used SJ, and if we agree on something under $400 I will just go for it. I decided I will drink espresso-based drinks 90% of the time at home, so if I can sell my Rocky, which is in very good shape, and offset the cost a bit, this could work out fine even if it was not planned right now. We'll see. Oh, and the reliability of the Varios has been my main concern about them, so hearing that yours had issues after 6 months is another argument for the true and tried SJ. Of course, the SJ won't fit under the cupboard, but I'll deal with that if it gets to that point... And if not, I am not desperate... They just don't come up used out here very often and I want to at least check it out.

Stefan

WildBoar
11-11-2013, 12:13 PM
x100 on the SJ. Picked mine up used, and the burrs were still in good condition. I don't use the hopper; I keep a tamper in the throat and it fits under the wall cabinets.

apicius9
11-13-2013, 12:13 AM
Score. Picked up the SJ today. :doublethumbsup: Lost a little bit of paint in a few tiny spots, but the burrs, hopper, and both lids are new. Paid $400 for it in the end. But with the new parts and close to $100 it would cost just to ship one I haven't seen from the mainland that sounded fair in the end. Big, but somehow not as big as I had feared. But, of course, it doesn't fit under the cupboard... :scratchhead: Funny thing, the seller also has an Anita, so it may be more than half way dialed in already. Will play with it over the next week or so. Anybody need a Rocky? :D

Stefan

wenus2
11-13-2013, 04:12 AM
I don't use the hopper; I keep a tamper in the throat and it fits under the wall cabinets.
Same here, I find it looks much better with a Reg Barber in cocobolo than it ever thought about with that hopper.

I actually have an old Gaggia single filter basket that happens to fit so that the lip rests right on the grinder collar, then the tamper sits in that to weight it down. Helps protect the tamper and keep it smooth.

Congrats on the SJ!

erikz
11-13-2013, 04:36 AM
I use a phillips filter machine, and a Quigg cold grinder. I get my coffee at a local coffestore, called Simon Levelt.

wenus2
11-13-2013, 04:39 AM
so I got the K10.
Vinster, I'm gonna play 20 Qs cause I've been eyeballing that grinder for a minute.

What do you think of it?
Conical > flat?
Do the Titan Shootout results hold up?

I'm presently down to 1 SJ, was considering a K10 Fresh maybe next summer, but then I read a review (cafeculture.com) that stated it held a lot of grounds in the chute. I was talked out of a Robur-E several years ago for the same reason, you essentially have to flush at least a whole dose every time you come to the machine. Fine in a commercial setting where you are steady, but not practical at home. 50% is too much waste. I don't think the dosered version has this problem as bad, or at least you can scrape the chute.

Which version do you have?
Do you know what its grind retention is?
Care to weigh it?
(I realize that sounds tedious to most, but coffee nerds understand each other, lol)

One nice thing about the Fresh I guess is that there are 2 presets, so say your grind retention is 7g, you can set one preset to ~7g for a chute flush and then go live with the other preset at ~20g.
If those numbers were real (they are not)... I guess I could live with 25% waste, begrudgingly.

rahimlee54
11-13-2013, 11:22 PM
I have the k10 wbc and it holds around 7 g in the chute. For single dosing I suspect the wbc would be less wasteful since you can sweep the chute. That is what I do, it works great.

vinster
11-14-2013, 12:49 AM
Vinster, I'm gonna play 20 Qs cause I've been eyeballing that grinder for a minute.

What do you think of it?
Conical > flat?
Do the Titan Shootout results hold up?

I'm presently down to 1 SJ, was considering a K10 Fresh maybe next summer, but then I read a review (cafeculture.com) that stated it held a lot of grounds in the chute. I was talked out of a Robur-E several years ago for the same reason, you essentially have to flush at least a whole dose every time you come to the machine. Fine in a commercial setting where you are steady, but not practical at home. 50% is too much waste. I don't think the dosered version has this problem as bad, or at least you can scrape the chute.

Which version do you have?
Do you know what its grind retention is?
Care to weigh it?
(I realize that sounds tedious to most, but coffee nerds understand each other, lol)

One nice thing about the Fresh I guess is that there are 2 presets, so say your grind retention is 7g, you can set one preset to ~7g for a chute flush and then go live with the other preset at ~20g.
If those numbers were real (they are not)... I guess I could live with 25% waste, begrudgingly.

Doh! I was typing a long post and I accidentally closed the browser window... So here goes again.

I have a K10 PB. I picked the PB over the Fresh because of cost and the grinds retention issue (IMO present in nearly all doserless models). I only make 1-2 drinks a day, so the waste was a deal breaker for me. I picked the Compak over the Robur and Kony because the Mazzer titans wouldn't fit under the cabinets in my kitchen. I wasn't really planning to switch from the Major, but came across a good deal and was curious to try a titan conical. The K10 is a solid heavy duty grinder, but not in the same class as the Mazzers. The Mazzers look and feel more substantial. I also like the feel of the doser on the Major over the K10. That being said, I'm happy with the purchase and have decided to keep the K10 and put the Major up for sale.

I have to admit that my palate (and skills) aren't sophisticated enough for me to consistently discern taste differences between a large burr and a large conical. If anything, it might be a little easier to make out the distinct floral/fruity notes with the K10. I also get more consistency with the K10 and I find it much easier to dial in shots because the adjustments to the collar aren't as sensitive on the K10 as they were on the Major. Meaning, for a same rotation on the collar, the resulting difference in grind was bigger on the Major.

The K10 PB doesn't grind as fast as I expected it would -- it's probably ~25% slower than a Major... something like 7s vs 10s for a 18g dose. Don't put too much stock in my numbers because a hopper full of beans would obviously grind faster. I'd consider modding my grinder one day to add a timer and running it with a hopper if I had the space. I've found that using a hopper loaded with beans results in MUCH more grind consistency on all the grinders I've tried. It would be nice to have a loaded hopper and pretty a button to get a preset amount of grinds...

Regarding grinds retention, I single dose on my K10 without the hopper and I sweep the chute clean, so I don't have any solid numbers for you to work with. With the electrical tape on the doser vanes mod, there's virtually 0 grinds rentention. I measured .1-.2g (lost in the burr assembly or chute) in the beginning when I first got the machine, but I don't bother to weight the output anymore. The design of the K10 chute causes more retention than the Mazzers. Whereas the Mazzer chute is a smooth and slightly sloping, the Compak chute is virtually level, and there's a plastic piece that creates a lip for the grinds to traverse on their way out. If I didnt sweep, there would be significantly more grinds retained in the K10 chute vs the Major or SJ. You can cut/file the plastic component to reduce this, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. If I had to guess, I'd probably have at least 5g hiding in my K10 chute if I didn't sweep it out.

If I remember, I'll weigh how much is retained tomorrow morning on a couple shots.

So if I had to do it all over again, I'd probably stick with with an SJ or maybe a Major, depending on the deal I can get. If I wanted to go with a doserless conical (and had the space), I'd probably go with a Kony or Robur, since the design of the chute results in lower grinds retention. For a doser conical, I've been happy with the K10, which I picked up as a demo unit from Chris Coffee.

I dont know if you've guys have seen this video before, but it's funny (and appropriate):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK7pnwQ8YpA

apicius9
11-14-2013, 01:14 AM
Played around a bit tonight until I at least produced a few donuts... So much to do, need to take out the finger guard and do the tape mod, get a small scale and then see what I can come up with. Somehow the doser is much messier than I expected, have to figure that out and maybe I will do this mod with the dispensing hole that I saw somewhere. Any other Jolly tips you guys can give me?

Oh, and I like the animation :)

Stefan

vinster
11-14-2013, 01:21 AM
Here's a thread that should help: http://www.home-barista.com/grinders/how-to-tame-messy-mazzer-doser-t6499.html

I usually tame donuts with WDT. Or turn the PF all around as you're dosing and focus on getting the grinds around the sides.

apicius9
11-14-2013, 02:05 AM
Great, thanks! I read about this sophisticated technological device but did not know exactly what it was. I did WDT the Rocky output in my yoghurt cup all the time, maybe I have to adapt one to the height of the Jolly. With a Shnozzola and a yoghurt cup, what could go wrong? And how stupid must this sentence sound to the uninitiated? ;)

Stefan

vinster
11-15-2013, 03:08 AM
Which version do you have?
Do you know what its grind retention is?
Care to weigh it?
(I realize that sounds tedious to most, but coffee nerds understand each other, lol)


I pulled two shots this morning and weighed the grinds that had to be manually swept out. The grinder kept ~ 6.3g and 5.9g in the chute. I've never seen the K10 fresh so I cant comment on whether the retention would be similar there.

wenus2
11-15-2013, 10:25 AM
I pulled two shots this morning and weighed the grinds that had to be manually swept out. The grinder kept ~ 6.3g and 5.9g in the chute. I've never seen the K10 fresh so I cant comment on whether the retention would be similar there.


I have the k10 wbc and it holds around 7 g in the chute. For single dosing I suspect the wbc would be less wasteful since you can sweep the chute. That is what I do, it works great.

That's awesome, thanks guys. I guess I was only half making up that 7g retention number. Now I just need to figure out what the Fresh holds.

Enjoying some Blue Bottle Ethiopian Lima Wolenso this morning.

CoqaVin
11-15-2013, 10:29 AM
Wow this thread is confusing me I personally LOVE coffee and did not know there was so much different equipment etc...

AFKitchenknivesguy
11-15-2013, 02:45 PM
Wow this thread is confusing me I personally LOVE coffee and did not know there was so much different equipment etc...

Yeah, the rabbit hole is pretty deep, similar to many hobbies. Just depends how involved in the process you want to get.

CoqaVin
11-15-2013, 02:49 PM
I hear ya...

RGNY
11-17-2013, 07:19 PM
wow, thread was a slog, feel like a slacker. :)

all i use is either a french press or Vietnamese phin.

do roast my own green beans though....

AFKitchenknivesguy
11-30-2013, 09:59 PM
I would normally do this in the "for sale" section, but if anyone is looking for a moderately used, well maintained Mazzer Mini then IM me. I just picked up a Mazzer Major and already have two Mini's.

apicius9
12-01-2013, 01:52 AM
Sounds like a great opportunity I would have jumped on a couple of weeks ago, but now I am on the middle of modding the Jolly I picked up locally. I hope the Mini will find a good home.

Stefan

tripleq
12-01-2013, 10:46 AM
wow, thread was a slog, feel like a slacker. :)

all i use is either a french press or Vietnamese phin.

do roast my own green beans though....

Nothing wrong with a French press. I use one occasionally and I get a pretty good brew out of it. My fav from it is pre-ground Serrano from Cuba. I'm sipping some right now. Passed over a real espresso shot for it. The heart wants what the heart wants ;)

Orcasite
12-02-2013, 07:29 PM
I used to use a French Press every morning, but then discovered the "Clever Coffee Dripper." It worked great - make a much cleaner (less grit), but full-flavored cup then french press. However, it was made of relatively thin plastic and couldn't take the heat stress and cracked. However, I discovered that Bonavita make a similar design in white porcelain - and so I got one and couldn't be happier. I used a metal filter instead of paper filters and it makes a wonderful clean tasting, full-bodied cup with no fuss. I just let the coffee steep, place the Bonavita on top of my cup, open the valve and let it drip. Wonderful and easy morning coffee.

pitonboy
12-07-2013, 09:29 PM
So just because I went through most of this thread looking for it but didn't find it: Is there a good mail-order source for roasted whole beans and I don't mean S-------- crap?

AFKitchenknivesguy
12-07-2013, 09:50 PM
Start here: http://www.home-barista.com/reviews/favorite-espresso-blends-2012-t20955.html

And continue here: http://www.home-barista.com/coffees/

I personally like Redbird and Cafe Fresco Ambrosia.

apicius9
12-07-2013, 10:11 PM
I just had a cup of Redbird of beans that had been in the freezer for some time and it still tasted good. Will definitely order again, but not the 5 pound bag, too much to handle for me by myself...

Stefan

WildBoar
12-07-2013, 11:37 PM
I'm a big fan of Counter Culture. Tried Redbird recently and is was not my thing (I like more citrus, chocolate, etc.). But lately I've been buying locally from Swing's, as I can, uhm, swing by and pick it up.

rahimlee54
12-08-2013, 12:18 PM
I drink mainly counter culture as well, I do the espresso recurring order which gives a 10% discount and it usually gets here in one day since I am close to the warehouse. I will grab other brands if they are fresh at the high end grocery stores: whole foods, Earthfare etc.

JCHine
12-12-2013, 05:53 AM
Just picked up a chemex as I'm moving away from espresso (basically got a choice give up wine or espresso). Any hints on getting the best out of it? Using a Mazzer mini grinder and one of them fancy bon(whatever) kettles @ 93C, but am struggling to get a good flavour profile.

CoqaVin
12-12-2013, 10:08 AM
ok being a coffee nut on a budget what is the best for roasting, grinding, and brewing?

JCHine
12-13-2013, 03:28 AM
Roasting is a popcorn maker!

Grinding, buy as expensive as you can afford; it sounds strange but a uniform repeatable grind is incredibly important and will make up for a poor machine (if that is your thing). I've heard mixed reports about hario hand grinders but there are some niche makers out there that make good stuff.

If you really have to have espresso style coffee and are not prepared to drop some serious cash go nespresso until you can afford better.

Before folks get all bent out of shape a for me a good setup is an lever machine or an E61 with PID and a serious grinder like a Mazzer to get close to replicating a commercial machine. Typically that setup won't leave you much change out of $1.5K if you shop around. There are smaller machines but they suffer durability issues and never really make a good cup IMHO.

Chemex's make a good coffee and are reasonably cheap (and increasingly fashionable) go for the mid sized version. Never underestimate a stovetop Bialetti with a good grinder they do a pretty good italian style short black albeit without crema.

Moving up there is an Australian stovetop called an OTTO which is an improved Atomic that some of the coffee nerds I know (who work for roasters) like.

DerSnap
03-24-2014, 12:11 PM
Just adding to the blog some more posts and finally starting off with a little introduction to my latest kitchen espresso setup. I will add in time some extra steps along the journey to the God Shot such as tampers, baskets, espresso, etc.

http://www.dersnap.com/snap-tools/kitchen-snap-wake-up-and-smell-the-espresso-ecm-espresso-machine-360.html

Cheers!
:)